British Columbia

Autism awareness: Vancouver woman writes picture book, illustrated by autistic brother

Andrea Bull said the goal of 'Animal Appetites' is also to showcase the talent and potential of autistic people

Andrea Bull said the goal of the book is also to showcase the talent and potential of autistic people

Some of the illustrations in 'Animal Appetites' by Robert Bull, an artist with autism. The book has just come out in time for Autism Month. (Andrea and Robert Bull)

A Vancouver woman has written a kids book of ABC's to promote autism awareness — and it was illustrated by her brother, who has autism.

Andrea Bull, who works as a registered audiologist, created Animal Appetites with her brother Robert, who was diagnosed with autism at four years old and took to drawing at an early age to express himself.

Robert and Andrea Bull, who created the ABC book 'Animal Appetites' to raise awareness of autism. (Supplied)

Andrea wrote the text for each letter of the alphabet, which uses alliteration and imagery to describe animals eating unusual things in unusual places, and Robert, now 28, illustrated the pages according to his own interpretation.

"What we really wanted to change was the conversation around autism.It's not 'What are the limitations of someone with this type of issue', it's 'what can they do? What are they outside of their autism?'" Andrea said.

"[Robert is] not my autistic brother, he's my brother who is an illustrator who happens to have autism."

Robert said the goal of the book is to show that autistic people don't fit some of the negative stereotypes that some people have.

"What Andrea was doing was, showing everybody that not everyone who is autistic is like that, they should realize and understand that."

Andrea crowdsourced her funds for the project using Kickstarter, and published it through a self-publishing company.

A portion of the sales of the book are going to the Canucks Autism Network, which provides a variety of programs for people and families living with autism.

To hear the interview listen to the audio labelled: Vancouver writer pens book about autism, illustrated by her brother who has autism


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